Learning how to live cheaply in retirement is important to having the best experience during your sunset years. Many people's retirement accounts have been hit hard by the recession. Job loss, stock market plunges, and more have caused those with retirement imminent to wonder how they will survive. You would be surprised how little you actually may have to give up with a little effort on your part to save money on the things you love.
- Give up the department stores and shop the outlet stores. You can find brand name clothing for much less at outlet stores. Outlet malls abound, and there are even outlet stores online. Consider buying from auction sites to get the best deals.
- Shop yard sales and thrift stores. You would not believe the finds you can get at yard sales and thrift stores. Moving sales are the best, because people will take outrageously low offers so they won't have to take the stuff with them or put it by the curb. Snapping it up helps you live cheaply in retirement.
- Find free activities. It seems there is always some sort of free or low cost festival or grand opening going on. Take a bag lunch and your own drinks so you don't have to buy the expensive food. Snatch up every useful freebie they are giving away.
- Ask for free stuff. Freecycle and Craigslist are two super places for getting free stuff. It's amazing what people are willing to give away for free. Quality furniture, household goods, yard tools, clothing and more can all be found for free simply by asking or finding someone who is offering it.
- Grow your own organic food. Have you priced organic food lately? You can grow your own very simply, even if you aren't a gardening type. Growing tomatoes, peppers, herbs and other edibles in containers is very simple, and doesn't require any special gardening skill. If you have the ability to fill a pot with soil, water, fertilize, and squirt some soap and oil mixture on them once in awhile, you can have all the healthy organic produce you need at great savings, making it easier to live cheaply in retirement.
- Join an activity club to share expenses. There are so many activity clubs popping up all over. Cycling clubs, tennis clubs, car clubs, gardening clubs and more are available. Fees are small, and members help each other with free labor so expenses are minimal. For example, a bike club might have a "maintenance clinic" where you can take your bike for repairs or upgrades for only the cost of parts. These clubs usually advertise on places like Craigslist online or in local newspapers. Local libraries will have a place where clubs and organizations leave flyers.
- Instead of eating out, invite friends over for a potluck dinner. For very little cost, you can have a ton of fun with your friends by organizing a potluck dinner. Everyone enjoys sharing their favorite recipes, and appreciates the fellowship and camaraderie. There are even potluck groups, which arrange meets on a rotating basis at each others' homes.
- Go to movie matinees and smuggle in your own snacks and drinks. Mothers learned this trick years ago. Buy a messenger bag, and stuff it with what you need for the show. Why pay $3 a box for candy, when you can bring it yourself for much less? Better yet, rent a video, make your own popcorn, and invite friends over to watch it with you. That is a great way to help you live cheaply in retirement.
- Utilize your local library. Books, videos, and more are all available for free at your local library. If you can't afford Internet access, most libraries provide Internet access for free, and most even have computers for your use. Don't know how to use a computer? Libraries have free classes for nothing more than a sign-up.
- Move to another country with a lower cost of living. People are retiring to countries like Mexico, Jamaica and the Phillipines every day in order to live cheaply in retirement.
These are just a few suggestions for how to live cheaply in retirement. As you can see, retirement doesn't have to be gloomy due to lack of money. There is plenty of free and low cost fun out there.